Like Vidya Balan, this melody from ‘Tumhari Sulu’ stands out too

Like Vidya Balan, this melody from ‘Tumhari Sulu’ stands out too

A composition rendered by independent artist Ronkini Gupta in new Bollywood film ‘Tumhari Sulu’ (Yours Sulu) is being rated as one of “finest pieces” heard this year. That may not be an overestimation, considering Bollywood’s contemporary repertoire is mostly cacophony masquerading as music.

“Rafu” (which means darning) has been composed by indie musician Santanu Ghatak, who also plays a role in the film. The song, which has received more than 100,000 hits on YouTube so far, echoes what it takes to build a home, especially for a woman who is usually expected to make far more adjustments than others in a family.

The Suresh Triveni film is about the tenacious Sulu, short for Sulochana, who takes the journey from being a housewife to an overnight radio star. Ghatak’s poetry, in a fairy tale-like way, underscores the good and bad experiences of that journey.

Here is an excerpt from the song’s lyrics:

Teri bani rahein
Meri thi deewarein 
Un deewaron pe hi 
Maine likh li baharein
Shaam hui
Tu jo aya
So gayin thi kaliyaan
kuch tune si hai
maine ki hai rafu
yeh doriyan

Accompanied by a gentle guitar, Gupta’s voice is lyrical, and its rendered in the typical refrain of a light Hindustani classical-based film song.

Ronkini, who is also part of a classical-based fusion band, was previously heard in the soundtrack of Rajat Kapoor’s “Ankhon Dekhi” (Through My Own Eyes). Her training in Indian classical music informs her style, which is evident from the intense notes delivered in “Kaise Sukh Soyein”. The composition creates the virtual setting of a music concert.

Mumbai-based Ronkini Gupta, whose formal training in music began at the age of six, has also learnt Hindustani classical singing from Indian stalwarts Abdul Rashid Khan and Parveen Sultana.

Singing is not the only talent that Ronkini is gifted with. In her free time, she likes to paint as well. Here are images of some of her creations, shared with permission from the artist:

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All Roads Lead to “Kashi” in Prem Joshua’s Latest Studio Album

By Ankush Arora

After a gap of four years, German multi-instrumentalist and composer Prem Joshua, in collaboration with producer Chintan, returns with his latest east-west fusion album ‘Kashi’, the ancient name of the Indian holy city of Varanasi.

‘Kashi’ is a devotional album that deploys contemporary Western music to create a language that – apart from being entertaining – has a transcendental quality to it. While revisiting India’s ancient hymns — shlokas or mantras — Joshua’s trance-like voice and the accompanying nuanced vocals turn “All Roads Lead to Om” into a spiritual adventure.

“All Roads Lead to Om” — om being the mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin — is the only full song from the latest album available on Joshua’s Facebook page. But a quick zap-in-zap-out of Kashi’s other songs can be heard here.

The music is evocative and addictive. Joshua’s magical sitar, as usual, takes the lead and it’s neck-and-neck play with the flute is mischievously seductive. The new album features Sanou Olszewski delivering the Western vocals while Hamsika Iyer‘s voice is heard in the Indian ones.

“I compose music with the sitar. From there it evolves. When you listen to my tracks and strip all the Western sounds, you will notice that it is raga-based. That is the very core—always,” said the musician in an interview to The New Indian Express.

Joshua’s interest in alloying India’s traditional music with that of Western innovation dates back to 1977, his first visit to the country that exposed him to its vast culture. That bond has culminated in 15 fusion albums — each unique in its own right — over the course of two decades.

His latest album will be released on August 5, according to the official website.

Also read — Prem Joshua & Chintans KASHI: Songs for the India Within Set for Release on August 5th from White Swan Records
 (On Twitter, I am @Ankush_patrakar)